Lafayette Shooter John Russell Houser: What We Know So Far

Last night, John Russell Houser opened fire on a theater crowd watching Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” in Lafayette, Louisiana– killing three, injuring nine and then turning the gun on himself.

Here is what we know about him so far.

He Hated Women 

Like many other mass shooters before him–Elliot Rodger, George Sodini, Seung-Hui Cho–Houser had a particular hatred for women.

According to his LinkedIn Profile, Houser was a frequent guest on the local talk show “Rise and Shine” on WLTZ NBC, as well as some other programs. Although the hosts of that show say he vastly overestimated the amount of appearances on the show, they did have some other things to say about him.

Namely, host Calvin Floyd describes him as a radical Republican who hated taxes and very much opposed women’s rights. He told the New York Times that Houser opposed women working outside of the home and was particularly upset about abortion clinics. He also said that Houser believed “that all the trouble started when they took Bibles out of school and stopped prayer.”

In a statement to the Washington Post, Floyd said “He was anti-abortion. The best I can recall, Rusty had an issue with feminine rights. He was opposed to women having a say in anything. You could talk with him a few minutes, and you would know he had a high IQ but there was a lot missing with him.”

Floyd says that Houser was usually only on the show as a “call-in” or to be pitted against a local Democrat–primarily because a lot of people would tune in to see what awful things he was going to say.

These views lends some insight as to why he specifically targeted Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck.”

He had a history of violence and erratic behavior

Police received a domestic violence complaint against Houser in 2006. In 2008, Houser’s ex-wife filed an order of protection against him as a result of family violence. Police determined Houser likely to commit future acts of violence, and thus took away all of his weapons.

His family also asked that Houser, who had a history of bipolar disorder and often refused medication, be involuntarily committed, stating that he was a danger to himself and others. He was then committed to a psychiatric hospital in Columbus.

He was a big fan of the Westboro Baptist Church, Hitler, and Timothy McVeigh

Houser had been on a list compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2005, after attending David Duke’s European-American Unity and Rights Organization Conference.

On internet forums, he said “It is a shame Tim McVeigh is not going to be with us to enjoy the hilarity of turning the tables with an IRON HAND,” and stated that “Hitler is loved for his pragmatism” and suggested he was the greatest ruler to have ever lived.

Although he only tweeted twice, one of those tweets extolled the virtues of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 5.18.22 PM

Houser was also registered as a member of Tea Party Nation and Political Forum.

On LinkedIn, Houser described himself as an entrepreneur and former pub owner.

This is how he described his experience in entrepreneurship:

In 1975 health spas were a new national phenomena. I typed up a letter with my new heading and logo entitled “NATIONAL WEIGHTLIFTING FEDERATION”. The letter explained that those returning the enclosed form “signed by their club professional or premises manager” verifying their ability to bench press 300 lbs would be eligible to purchase 300 CLUB t-shirts for $15 each. How many respondents could actually bench 300 remains in question, but 685 t-shirts were sold in 90 days.

This idea hit me when I saw that health spas were posting addresses of other spas claiming affiliation.

Let us brainstorm some list together.

According to LinkedIn, the last job he held was Real Estate Developer/Layout Maximization:

Needing cash for investment, I decided to sell my house and find one for profit. Riding the streets of the Columbus/Phenix City area I found a spectacular estate on 32nd street in Phenix City. Though it was grossly undervalued and completely unrealized it was two times my investment potential, so an investor was brought in. Lots were sold on the property while I kept the house and an extra lot for myself. This is my home today.
What did I see in the estate that had escaped others? Cut the trees and see the view.
I can show you the view in what you already own,of whatever nature.

It seems clear from these descriptions of his “work” that Houser was definitely not all there.

[New York Times]
[Washington Post]